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  1. #1
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    I doubt anyone's interested, but...

    Late notice, I know, but tomorrow morning, we're going to hike/ride/scout some of the open spaces terrain above Idaho Springs where we'll be building new trails this winter (weather permitting). The stuff we'll be looking at will be the area where the DH/FR trails will be. We're going to ride up from town on the road, and then ride/hike down the proposed line for the trail.

    It may be slow going on the way down, I'm expecting to encounter a lot of deadfall and overgrowth, so there will likely be some hike-a-bike. But it should be interesting.

    Anyway, we're meeting at 9 am at the coffee shop across from Beau Jo's...
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  2. #2
    zrm
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    Who manages the land? Has all this gone through th proper channels? (NEPA, if on FS, etc)

    Just curious. Usually you propose a trail alingment then it goes through the process if you're talking FS land. Municipal or County open space departments are differnt and usually will have somewhat less red tape but it varies town to town county to county.

  3. #3
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    Too short notice for me

    However: Let me know when you have a building schedule. I'll come and help. Looking forward to it!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm
    Who manages the land? Has all this gone through th proper channels? (NEPA, if on FS, etc)

    Just curious. Usually you propose a trail alingment then it goes through the process if you're talking FS land. Municipal or County open space departments are differnt and usually will have somewhat less red tape but it varies town to town county to county.
    Manages this land? It's not really managed, in any active sense. It's open space land that's part of a project that Clear Creek County and Idaho Springs started but never finished because they don't have money or people. It's been designated specifically for mountain bike trails (and some multi-use trails), and some locals, myself included, have been given permission by the city to build on it, so it's entirely up to us to design it, build it, map it, name it, mark it, etc. Or we could just blow it off and let it sit there and wait for someone else to do it...

    The city and county plotted out the open space boundaries and generated some proposed routes (see this map) but they don't make sense because of the fall lines and topography -- like "downhill trails" that have climbs on them, XC trails that go straight up steep grades and multi-use trails that cross DH/FR trails. So we need to find the best routes that make the best sense in terms of -- what can be ridden, what's safe, what's going to be sustainable, etc. Which is what we're doing tomorrow.

    It's entirely up to us -- grassroots style -- we build it, we ride it. The community is beginning to come around to the value of mountain biking for the economy, and the land is otherwise fallow, so our slave -- er, free labor is welcome. We hope that by doing this, the county will be more supportive in the future, help us access more land, maybe even give us a budget. HA!!! Right.

    You're welcome to come check it out.

    -EDIT- And by "entirely up to us - we build it, we ride it" - I mean mountain bikers in general, not "locals only" or anything like that. As in, since the county or city is not paying a dime to have these trails built, if we don't do it, no one will -- but if we do, then we can designate the trails as we see fit and build them in the order we prefer -- so while there will be multi-use trails open to hikers and equestrians, there will also be MTB-only trails, including "downhill traffic only" trails, with appropriate warning signs to keep hikers and horses off. Personally, I'm not a downhiller, but I see those trails as the star attraction over here -- the terrain up there is just perfect for it.
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  5. #5
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    Here's a look at some of it -- that peak in the center of the frame and the smaller hump to the right are all in-bounds. This is part of the XC system.
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  6. #6
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    And some more, with Evans / Bierstadt in the background, and my dog Sam center stage...
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  7. #7
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    Put me down as a big "maybe".. I'm interested, just not sure if I'll be able to get there by 9am.

  8. #8
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    SWEET! We'll hang at the coffee shop for a few minutes after 9 before we ride up. I'll PM you my cell phone number, if you're close and you think you'll miss us, call and we'll arrange to hook up. Be sure to bring a bike with a granny gear, we're going up Virginia Canyon (Oh My God) road. It's not too steep for the most part, but there are some spots.
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  9. #9
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    Well, if you're reading this right now, then something got you out of bed at 3 in the morning, too. In my case, it was some kind of major plumbing malfunction in my basement that caused a huge leak, which I have just managed to get under control.

    Now I can't get back to sleep, so I'm just going to make some coffee and call it a morning.

    In any case, my Saturday plans (and probably Sunday, too) have now been considerably altered, as I have a ton of sopping, worthless old carpeting and padding to pull out, and probably a date with a plumber who works weekends.

    Anyway, if anyone was planning on heading up and meeting us this morning, e.g. Thump, I will not be attending due to the aforementioned aquatic disaster.

    And if anyone actually is a plumber who works weekends, PM me.
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  10. #10
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    Wow, that's odd -- my last post popped up like 5 times.

    Deleting multiple posts.
    Last edited by Manmountain Dense; 11-03-2007 at 03:28 AM.
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  11. #11
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    Deleting multiple posts.
    Last edited by Manmountain Dense; 11-03-2007 at 03:28 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Deleting multiple posts.
    Last edited by Manmountain Dense; 11-03-2007 at 03:27 AM.
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  13. #13
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    Deleting multiple posts.
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  14. #14
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    Would you stop repeating yourself?

    Any I think there are plenty who are interested it is just too short notice...
    Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic...

  15. #15
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manmountain Dense
    Manages this land? It's not really managed, in any active sense. It's open space land that's part of a project that Clear Creek County and Idaho Springs started but never finished because they don't have money or people. It's been designated specifically for mountain bike trails (and some multi-use trails), and some locals, myself included, have been given permission by the city to build on it, so it's entirely up to us to design it, build it, map it, name it, mark it, etc. Or we could just blow it off and let it sit there and wait for someone else to do it...

    The city and county plotted out the open space boundaries and generated some proposed routes (see this map) but they don't make sense because of the fall lines and topography -- like "downhill trails" that have climbs on them, XC trails that go straight up steep grades and multi-use trails that cross DH/FR trails. So we need to find the best routes that make the best sense in terms of -- what can be ridden, what's safe, what's going to be sustainable, etc. Which is what we're doing tomorrow.

    It's entirely up to us -- grassroots style -- we build it, we ride it. The community is beginning to come around to the value of mountain biking for the economy, and the land is otherwise fallow, so our slave -- er, free labor is welcome. We hope that by doing this, the county will be more supportive in the future, help us access more land, maybe even give us a budget. HA!!! Right.

    You're welcome to come check it out.

    -EDIT- And by "entirely up to us - we build it, we ride it" - I mean mountain bikers in general, not "locals only" or anything like that. As in, since the county or city is not paying a dime to have these trails built, if we don't do it, no one will -- but if we do, then we can designate the trails as we see fit and build them in the order we prefer -- so while there will be multi-use trails open to hikers and equestrians, there will also be MTB-only trails, including "downhill traffic only" trails, with appropriate warning signs to keep hikers and horses off. Personally, I'm not a downhiller, but I see those trails as the star attraction over here -- the terrain up there is just perfect for it.
    Wow, that's interesting. I've never heard of any publicly owned land, be it city BLM or FS where they just let anyone have at it without any planning or approval. That's great though, if that is what they are letting folks do then do it! (edit to add): When i say no planning or approval, I mean with the trail plan that you come up with. Usually stuff like that has to go through lengthy review by planning staff approval by open space commissioners, town council, etc

    How big is the parcel you have to work with? For DH stuff do you have places for shuttle vehicles to park? What aspect are the trails generally, do they hold snow? What kinds of soils are predominate?

    Do you have a plan on laying out the trail corridors? Enough folks who have experience building sustainable trails, be they XC or DH or FR features? How about IMBA, have you been able to get or looked for any assistance from them? Have you done any fund raising?

    Sorry for all the questions. I've done a lot of this kind of work and I'd be glad to help you out if I have the time, (which in honesty I probably don't but I'd be glad to do what I can). I've built lots of XC trails from the planning and approval process to the field work but DH is not my thing although I support DH type trails in places where they can be sustainably built and it works with the overall management goals. It's pretty important to do them so they don't become an eroded mess, that means using hard surfaces as much as possible and armoring where needed. Like I said though, I'm not a DHer and if you aren't I'd encourage you to work with folks who have experience doing it right.

    Good luck and I hope it works out well!
    Last edited by zrm; 11-03-2007 at 06:52 AM.

  16. #16
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    Er, you weren't reading closely? There was planning. We have approval.


    Quote Originally Posted by zrm
    Wow, that's interesting. I've never heard of any publicly owned land, be it city BLM or FS where they just let anyone have at it without any planning or approval. That's great though, if that is what they are letting folks do then do it! (edit to add): When i say no planning or approval, I mean with the trail plan that you come up with. Usually stuff like that has to go through lengthy review by planning staff approval by open space commissioners, town council, etc

    How big is the parcel you have to work with? For DH stuff do you have places for shuttle vehicles to park? What aspect are the trails generally, do they hold snow? What kinds of soils are predominate?

    Do you have a plan on laying out the trail corridors? Enough folks who have experience building sustainable trails, be they XC or DH or FR features? How about IMBA, have you been able to get or looked for any assistance from them? Have you done any fund raising?

    Sorry for all the questions. I've done a lot of this kind of work and I'd be glad to help you out if I have the time, (which in honesty I probably don't but I'd be glad to do what I can). I've built lots of XC trails from the planning and approval process to the field work but DH is not my thing although I support DH type trails in places where they can be sustainably built and it works with the overall management goals. It's pretty important to do them so they don't become an eroded mess, that means using hard surfaces as much as possible and armoring where needed. Like I said though, I'm not a DHer and if you aren't I'd encourage you to work with folks who have experience doing it right.

    Good luck and I hope it works out well!
    Never rub another man's rhubarb.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kchri
    Would you stop repeating yourself?

    Any I think there are plenty who are interested it is just too short notice...
    My apologies on both counts. We didn't plan to do this particular recon until a couple days ago. Next time, I'll post sooner.

    We're cancelling this today altogether since I have to wait for the stupid plumber.
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  18. #18
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manmountain Dense
    Er, you weren't reading closely? There was planning. We have approval.
    Sorry, what I meant was, if I understand correctly, the town is just letting you design and build a trail system at your own initative on town propery after the original plan proposed by people who aren't expereince trail builders was found to be deficient. IE: " Our original plan wwasn't well thought out so why don't you do what you think is best and whatever you come up with is fine with us". If that's the case, it's pretty unusual in the wild and wacky world of government planning.
    I'm not trying to say there hasn't been planning or you don't have approval. I'm saying that when you say "It's been designated specifically for mountain bike trails (and some multi-use trails), and some locals, myself included, have been given permission by the city to build on it, so it's entirely up to us to design it, build it, map it, name it, mark it, etc."
    it sounds like you can do all that without review or approval of the plan you come up withand the trails you build. Maybe I'm misunderstanding that though. In my experience, it's pretty unusual for the powers that be to just let people loose to build trails on their own. Sounds like a good deal as long as it's done well though.

    Good luck!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manmountain Dense
    Well, if you're reading this right now, then something got you out of bed at 3 in the morning, too. In my case, it was some kind of major plumbing malfunction in my basement that caused a huge leak, which I have just managed to get under control.
    MD.. sorry to hear about that. I've been there before, except with a sewage main backup. At that point it's better to call your homeowners insurance company and let the mitigation experts take over. Good luck man, I feel for you.

    ZRM,
    I've never quite understood why some folks out here feel it takes a Ph.D to build sustainable trail? I've built plenty back in the midwest, which get substantially more moisture than here, that have held up to tons of traffic by just using a little common sense when it comes to erosion. This is the only state in the planet that seems to need 9 months of politics and BS to "plan" a trail, and then even still ends up with weekly user conflicts and having to drop in water bars 3 months later. I appreciate that similar to proper landscaping, there are some tricks to the trade, but some trail riding experience and common sense covers most of it. Experience will help avoid some common mistakes, but come on, what these guys are doing is a *good thing*.

  20. #20
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    I am definitely interested in helping out with this project. Just need a little more advance notice.

  21. #21
    zrm
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    Thump,

    I don't think I suggested anywhere in my post that trail building is brain surgery or took a PHD. I've built close to 30 miles of trail either by myself or as part of a crew so I know that all too well. It does, however, have to be done right, which means paying attention to grade, out slope, soil types, etc. I've seen too any trails that where "built" by nothing more than one set of tires following another through the woods down a game trail and they turn into deeply eroded, braided messes. Such trails do not endear mountain bikers to the folks making the decisions regarding public land use. I've spent a lot of time over the years undoing the damage done by people who either don't think about what they do on their bikes very well or just don't care. I'm not implying that this is the case with Manmontain Dense, it's just my experience in places I've lived.

    Nor do I think I implied Manmountain Dense didn't have the expertise to do a good job building trail, he may vary well do a great job, I asked if he had the resources to do the job correctly because I know very well what is involved in trail building, nothing more than that. I implied that building sustainable DH trail is a lot different than XC and if he didnít have experience then it might be a good idea to bring in someone who does. Not just from a sustainability point of view, but from a user experience point of view.

    Here in the west, or any where in the county for that matter if you want to build a trail or a road or anything else on Forest Service land, there are by law, a number of steps required. National parks land have their own set of regulations that once again, they are obligated by law to follow. State lands, be they State Forest or Parks have their own regulations that pertain to things like trail building that vary from state to state. Same goes with municipal or county owned lands, whether they are designated as open space or not, they will all have their own set of rules depending on what the management goals for that particular piece of land is. Some are very restrictive, and some are not. That's the way it is and personally, I'm OK with that.

    While you, or even I my look at the land and think it's best use is trails and recreation, the folks in charge of managing those lands most likely have a variety of mandates. They can range from wildlife, flora, and watershed protection, view corridor protection, commodity extraction, recreation, and so forth. I think it would be a mistake if it was legal for any and everyone to simply do what they wish with land, especially land held in common. Trails are great, I've built lots of trails and will build more in the future, but I don't think there should be trails on every mountain and in every valley.

    Being from the Midwest, where there isn't a lot of public land, you probably have a different experience as a lot of the riding is on private land, at least that is what I have found when I go back home to Indiana, so itís a different game, but here the rules are the rules (which IMO is a better thing than a free for all) and if you want to get anything done, youíd better understand them and know how to work within the system.

    I think itís great that the Town of Idaho Springs is giving mountain bikers such a long leash, at least thatís how Iím reading it, and it will behoove the guys doing the trails to do a great job and it sounds like they have a good grip on things. A good DH only set of trails with good shuttle access will be a good thing, hopefully it will reduce some of the conflicts that seem (if you believe some of the foam on some of the treads here on MTBR) to be occurring on the Front Range. Mountain biking is very popular here and giving folks to do the kind of riding they like is a good thing as long as it respects some other values for the land. Iím all for it. Hopefully MMD and CO will build a great system of trails, folks will come up to ride them and make a positive economic impact on the town and everyone will be happy, why do you think I feel otherwise?

  22. #22
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    I will definetly help on the dh/fr stuff...I got 20 community service hours i need to do to graduate from highschool too...think this would count lol? Even if it doesnt im still willing to help...I hvae alittle experience from building stuff in my back yard but thats about it.

  23. #23
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    I live in Idaho Springs... I will be able to help out quite a bit in the future. I also have some friends on WP's trail crew. They know a ton about sustainable trail building with proper drainage, etc... I'm sure they'd be down to dig and help build some trail. PM me with your contact info.

    Joel

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by joelalamo45
    I live in Idaho Springs... I will be able to help out quite a bit in the future. I also have some friends on WP's trail crew. They know a ton about sustainable trail building with proper drainage, etc... I'm sure they'd be down to dig and help build some trail. PM me with your contact info.

    Joel
    You live in Idaho? No kidding! I'm in Dumont. We should hook up sometime. I'll PM you.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm
    Who manages the land? Has all this gone through th proper channels? (NEPA, if on FS, etc)
    Hi, please fill out your form 107409ZM, take a number and stand in line 3.

    Quote Originally Posted by zrm
    ... Hopefully MMD and CO will build a great system of trails, folks will come up to ride them and make a positive economic impact on the town and everyone will be happy, why do you think I feel otherwise?
    Sorry zrm, I wasn't trying imply that you were against it, I would just caution that they *don't* get any more administrative parties involved than need be or invite further review and "planning". In the 5 years I've been here, the only thing that I've seen inviting more opinions to the table does is lead to more dumbed down, overly sanitized, boring assed snooze tracks through the forest. God forbid anything get's built that someone could actually fall on.

    This is a chance to get some actual FR/DH trails for the front range and they have permission from the landowners.. I would hope this starts getting built quickly without asking for too much professional advice. I think most of the FR/DH set around here would love to see some trails that have mandatory drops, gaps and rollers. Something that is not ridable or easily hikeable uphill so you don't have to worry about running over the Sierra Club or a lycra racer trying to get his "climb on". I fully support (both financially and philosophically) IMBA, BMA, etc, but my experience is if you bring them out to advise you'll end up with a trail that can be ridden in both directions, has "outs" for every feature and has removed every rock, tree and twig that someone could possibly run into; which ultimately means you'll have guys out there on 4" travel, 28 lbs bikes getting ran over by the "fullface" set going twice their speed and then coming on to mtbr to whine that some "out of control" DHer was bombing the trail irresponsibly. I personally can pass on hearing a decade of "Idaho Springs DH angst" threads.

    If these guys have passion, common sense and some willing labor I'll wager they'll come up with something more fun to actually ride than any local "expert".
    Last edited by thump; 11-04-2007 at 12:32 AM.

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